January 16, 1806: Georg Joseph Vogler’s (56) Castor und Pollux, directed by the composer, is performed in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Napoléon’s adopted son Eugene to August Amalia, daughter of King Maximilian I of Bavaria. One of the leads is Regina Hitzelberger, who, nine years hence, will give birth to Josephine Lang.
March 14, 1815: 04:15 Josephine Caroline Lang is born in Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, second of two children born to Theobald Lang, waldhornist in the court orchestra, and Regina Hitzelberger, a coloratura soprano.
January 14, 1823: The Hof- und National Theater in Munich is destroyed by fire. Among the last to get out alive is the celebrated soprano Regina Hitzelberger-Lang and her daughter Josephine Lang (7).
May 10, 1827: Regina Hitzelberger-Lang dies in Munich at the age of 39. Her income as a vocalist brought needed income into the family, and her departure requires her talented daughter Josephine Lang (12) to begin giving piano lessons.
November 25, 1831: After a successful performance at the Royal Court Theatre in Munich, the celebrated actor Ferdinand Lang returns home to his parents’ residence. As he opens the door, he is stabbed in the abdomen by a man in disguise. Holding the wound with one hand, he manages to crawl up four flights of stairs where he attracts the attention of the maid. She calls for Lang’s parents and sister, Josephine Lang (16). He will linger near death for four days, but will survive.
August 12, 1835: The Royal Bavarian Court Music Director approves the application of Josephine Lang (20) to become a singer in the Royal Hofkapelle.
June 13, 1840: Josephine Lang (25), ill with pleurisy, arrives in Kreuth (Wildbad Kreuth) for a whey cure. She was sent there by Caroline, Queen Mother of Bavaria.
June 30, 1840: Law scholar and poet Christian Reinhold Köstlin arrives in Kreuth (Wildbad Kreuth) for the cure. This evening, he hears Josephine Lang (25) performing one of her own songs. Fascinated, he asks to be introduced to her.
July 1, 1840: Josephine Lang (25) is introduced to her future husband, Christian Reinhold Köstlin at Kreuth (Wildbad Kreuth). They are both there for the cure. They are immediately attracted to each other.
July 13, 1840: Josephine Lang (25) departs Kreuth (Wildbad Kreuth) to continue her cure in nearby Tegernsee. As she leaves, her future husband, the poet Reinhold Köstlin, hands her a new poem. Two days from now she will set it to music. He will write 54 poems this summer. 38 of these he gives to Lang. Over the next two years, she will set only four songs to poets other than Köstlin.
August 13, 1840: At Tegernsee, Josephine Lang (25) performs her setting of Goethe’s Sie liebt mich for Reinhold Köstlin. The two openly declare love for each other.
August 14, 1840: Reinhold Köstlin departs Tegernsee without saying goodbye to Josephine Lang (25). He will not write poetry for five days, when he is in Innsbruck. He will travel to Italy until the academic year begins in September.
April 16, 1841: In Munich, Josephine Lang (26) receives a letter from Reinhold Köstlin in Tübingen, offering marriage. She will accept.
March 29, 1842: Josephine Lang (27) marries the poet and legal scholar Christian Reinhold Köstlin in the Spitalkirche, Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg, in a Protestant ceremony performed by the groom’s father. Then, owing to her faith, the bridal party travels to a Catholic church where a ceremony is performed by a priest.
March 30, 1842: A day after their wedding, Josephine Lang Köstlin (27) and Christian Reinhold Köstlin travel from Stuttgart to Frankfurt to visit his stepsister. Over the next three weeks they will visit Bonn and Cologne.
September 4, 1846: Josephine Lang Köstlin (31) gives birth to her fourth child, a son, in Tübingen. She now cares for four children under the age of four.
September 23, 1847: Josephine Lang Köstlin (32) gives birth to her fifth child, her first girl, in Tübingen.
October 30, 1847: Franz Hauser writes to Josephine Lang Köstlin (32), informing her that Breitkopf and Härtel has agreed to publish three of her songs.
July 29, 1848: In a flag-dedication ceremony, a homemade black, red, and gold flag is presented to the Student Academic Freicorps by the women of Tübingen. Among those signing the official document is Josephine Lang Köstlin (33). Reinhold Köstlin speaks at the ceremony, strongly attacking Prussia.
March 14, 1849: Josephine Lang Köstlin gives birth to her sixth child, a daughter, in Tübingen, on her 34th birthday.
September 14, 1856: Christian Reinhold Köstlin dies at his Tübingen home at the age of 43. He leaves Josephine Lang Köstlin (41) with six children, aged seven to 14.
May 29, 1867: An essay by Ferdinand Hiller appears in the Kölner Zeitung describing the biography of Josephine Lang Köstlin (52). He wrote it, based on notes from Lang, in an attempt to alleviate her difficult financial situation. She has been trying to support six children since her husband’s death in 1856. It will spread her fame throughout Germany and elsewhere.
June 4, 1867: Paul Mendelssohn (brother of Felix), writes to Ferdinand Hiller, inspired by his essay of 29 May. He asks if Josephine Lang Köstlin (52) will accept a gift from the royalties of Felix Mendelssohn (†19). She will, and he will send her 1,000 Thaler. Lang will receive many other smaller gifts as a result of the essay.
June 21, 1868: Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, a music drama by Richard Wagner (55) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Königliches Hof-und Nationaltheater, Munich, conducted by Hans von Bülow, before King Ludwig and 1,500 invited guests. Although a success with the public, the critics are not impressed. The night watchman is played by Ferdinand Lang, brother of Josephine Lang Köstlin (53).
September 29, 1868: Felix Köstlin, oldest child of Josephine Lang Köstlin (53), dies in a fire at the Winnenthal asylum, near Stuttgart, at the age of 25. Since he is the only victim, it is believed that he may have set the fire himself.
March 26, 1873: Theobald Köstlin, the 28-year-old invalid son of Josephine Lang Köstlin (58), dies in Tübingen at the age of 28. The event throws her into an extreme and long-lasting depression.
March 13, 1880: Eugen Köstlin, the third child of Josephine Lang Köstlin (64), dies at the age of 35. It is the third child she has outlived.
November 30, 1880: Josephine Lang Köstlin (65) composes the song Schlummerlied to words of Therese von Niemeyer, in Tübingen. It is the last music she will write.
December 2, 1880: 19:00 Josephine Caroline Lang Köstlin dies of a heart attack in Tübingen, German Empire, aged 65 years, eight months, and 18 days.